Egyptians defeat ‘dark terror’

Updated 15 May 2014

Egyptians defeat ‘dark terror’

CAIRO: Egyptians lined up in numbers to vote Tuesday on a new constitution many said they had not read but would approve anyway in support of the army’s ouster of President Muhammad Mursi.
Polling at most stations got off to a smooth start, but 10 people were killed in clashes between Mursi supporters and police and anti-Mursi groups in central and southern Egypt, security officials said.
The referendum has been billed by authorities as the first in a series of polls that will restore elected government by the end of the year.
For many, it has also become a vote of confidence for army chief Abdel Fattah El-Sissi, the man who overthrew Mursi in July and is now mulling a presidential bid.
“I am voting because it is not only my civic duty, but also to prove that what happened was not a coup,” said Omar, 24, referring to the July 3 ouster of Mursi by the army.
Mursi, Egypt’s first democratically elected and civilian president, was pushed aside by Sissi following massive street protests against his one-year rule that was marred by allegations of power grabs and mismanagement of the economy.
“The referendum is the end of the Muslim Brotherhood. We say yes to the future and no to the Muslim Brotherhood,” said Galal Zaky, a bread vendor owner.
Wafaa Louis Tawadros, a Coptic Christian, said: “The (Muslim) Brotherhood wanted to divide us.”
Sissi, in his trademark sunglasses and flanked by officers and adoring voters, visited a polling station in Cairo. “Work hard. We need the referendum to be completely secured,” he told soldiers guarding the school. “The people must prove to dark terrorism that they fear nothing,” he said after voting.

US sanctions over Iran oil will ‘intensify Mideast turmoil’: China

Updated 24 min 45 sec ago

US sanctions over Iran oil will ‘intensify Mideast turmoil’: China

  • Foreign ministry spokesman: US operating outside its jurisdiction in unilaterally imposing the sanctions
  • China is one of Iran’s biggest oil markets

BEIJING: Beijing on Tuesday again lashed out at a US decision to impose sanctions on countries that buy Iranian oil, calling it a violation of China’s interests that will intensify turmoil in the Middle East and international energy markets.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the US is operating outside its jurisdiction in unilaterally imposing the sanctions. He said normal interactions between Iran and other countries are “reasonable and lawful” and deserving of respect and protection.

“The relevant actions of the US will also intensify the turmoil in the Middle East and international energy market,” Geng said.

“We urge the US to play a constructive role in a responsible manner, instead of the other way around. In addition, we have already made complaints with the US on this matter,” he said.

Geng said China will work to safeguard its companies’ interests, reflecting its desire to secure foreign markets as it pursues its massive “Belt-and-Road” infrastructure initiative.

China is one of Iran’s biggest oil markets and was a strong backer of the agreement to lift sanctions in return for Iran curbing its nuclear weapons program that was scrapped by President Donald Trump.

The Trump administration said Monday that it will no longer exempt any countries from US sanctions if they continue to buy Iranian oil, stepping up pressure on Iran in a move that primarily affects the five remaining major importers.

Along with India and US treaty allies Japan, South Korea and Turkey, China was one of the countries primarily affected by the announcement.

Oil prices soared to their highest level since October on Tuesday.

The sanctions could potentially remove up to 1.2 million barrels of oil per day from international markets, according to industry experts. However, that number will likely be lower, depending on how countries respond and just how much oil Iran continues to export.